For a moment, Tommy Fritz looks like Clyde, but then gets his hairstyle back.
The greater part of this episode is taken from the Star Trek Classic episode, Dagger Of The Mind. Dr. Tristan Adams, Simon van Gelder, Missy, the uniforms, and the neural neutralizer (the star machine) are all present. Some other tidbits for this episode:
Mr. Mackey = Mr. Spock (complete with raised eyebrow)
Nurse Gollum = Nurse Chapel
Tantalus V. Observatory = Tantalus V colony
Tantalus V was not an observatory, and a planetarium is more like a museum than an observatory.
Me transmitte sursum, Caledoni! = Beam me up, Scotty!
Caledonia is the Latin name for the Scottish highlands. This particular phrase was never uttered in the series. The dog star is not Polaris, it is Sirius.
Wendy wears a too-dark coat when she's laughing with the others at Kenny's haiku.
Hey you guys, when I'm done with that- Cheesy Poofs commercial, I bet I get all the free Cheesy Poofs I want - for a time, Comedy Central gave away a free box of Cheesy Poofs if you bought a South Park product, or a month of Cheesy Poofs if you bought two or more products from other shows. Also, the Cheesy Poofs spokeskid search is like those done by Oscar Meyer for its bologna and weiners from time to time.
If you look closely at the Cheesy Poofs on the side of the van, you'll see a group of Cheesy Poofs arranged to look like Mickey Mouse ears.
Well, I guess we could go again, since it's just down the street - If that were so, they should not have passed the "Denver: 45 miles" sign post the previous day.
Your haiku insults have no effect on me, Kyle - Obviously, the boys don't need any lessons in making haikus.
Drugs are good, mkay? - sounds like a contradiction, but there are times when drugs must be used.
Don't pick your nose, hon. - This and Cartman's responses are taken from the Monty Python movie Life Of Brian
Here with a special report is a 34-year old Asian man who looks strikingly similar to Ricardo Montalban. - Montalban was Khan Noonyan Singh, captain of the Botany Bay, which was a ship from the 1990's. Khan appeared in "Space Seed" and in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
When the class returns to the planetarium and are inside the theater, Dr. Adams says "planetarium" correctly all the time he has the neural neutralizer activated.
The poor little girl with the windswept hair who is in the call back with Cartman and the others is none other than Cosette, the girl from Les MisÚrables. In the novel, her guardian, Jean Valjean, long before he met her, was thrown in prison for stealing bread. Cartman eliminates the girl from the competition by saying bread is being given away outside.
And if you look at the board behind her, you'll see the question, "Who will be the next Cosette?"
The Plane'arium seems to be based on the Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Trey and Matt's alma mater.